All About Jazz

Home » Articles » CD/LP/Track Review

289

Andreas Varady / David Lyttle: Questions

Bruce Lindsay By

Sign in to view read count
Guitarist Andreas Varady co-leads Questions, his lively and hugely enjoyable debut, with 26 year-old, Northern Irish drummer David Lyttle. Lyttle has plenty of experience for his age: he's one of Ireland's most active and most respected jazz musicians and bandleaders, while Varady is much less experienced—but, then, he is only 13 years old.

Varady, born in Slovakia but now based in Limerick in the Republic of Ireland, is definitely the star of this album. He plays with confidence, skill, obvious enjoyment and a genuine connection to the music. Lyttle brings a wealth of experience in folk music as well as jazz to his relaxed but swinging drumming. The duo is joined by Michael Janisch, an exceptional double-bassist, and Bandi Varady, Andreas' father, who plays rhythm guitar with verve. The musicians play with enthusiasm, and with an understanding that belies the fact that they had played together as a quartet only once before the recording session.

Varady and Lyttle each contribute two original compositions. Varady's "Blues for Edward" is an up-tempo blues, a little reminiscent of Kenny Burrell's style. The young guitarist's playing on the tune is especially fluid and joyful. His "A Day in New York" has more of a George Benson feel to it, with Varady delivering some lovely chordal playing. Lyttle's "True Story" is a relaxed reggae-style number, with Lyttle and Janish creating a warm and engaging rhythm. "Swing Thing," Lyttle's second contribution, is a faster, more urgent tune, with a hint of bop.

The selection of covers helps to demonstrate the quartet's command of a range of styles and offers some intriguing arrangements. John Coltrane's "Giant Steps" is the most interesting: it's taken at a slow and graceful tempo, and opens with a delightful bass and guitar duet from Janisch and Varady. Benson's arrangement of Johnny Mandel's "The Shadow Of Your Smile" is a Varady solo performance, surprisingly mature and controlled for so young a player, and rather beautiful. The too-brief version of Django Reinhardt's "Festival 48" features Andreas and Bandi on acoustic guitars, with both players giving a lovely high-octane performance, driving the tune along at breakneck speed without losing melody or rhythm.

Questions is a delight: fun, accessible, unpretentious and positive. The quartet of musicians is outstanding. Lyttle and Varady are already accomplished players and represent an emerging Irish jazz scene of tremendous potential—hopefully this is just the beginning of two stellar jazz careers.

Tags

Related Video

comments powered by Disqus

CD/LP/Track Review
Read more articles
After Carnival

After Carnival

CDM Records
2012

buy
Live at Vision Festival

Live at Vision...

Re: Konstrukt
2012

buy
So Oder So

So Oder So

Self Produced
2012

buy
To My Surprise

To My Surprise

Consolidated Artists Productions
2012

buy
Leap In The Dark

Leap In The Dark

Intuition
2012

buy
Into The Open

Into The Open

Your Favourite Jazz
2012

buy

Related Articles

Read SuperClusters CD/LP/Track Review
SuperClusters
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 21, 2018
Read Your Queen Is A Reptile CD/LP/Track Review
Your Queen Is A Reptile
by Chris May
Published: February 21, 2018
Read Melodious Drum CD/LP/Track Review
Melodious Drum
by Jack Bowers
Published: February 21, 2018
Read The Speed of Dark CD/LP/Track Review
The Speed of Dark
by Geno Thackara
Published: February 21, 2018
Read Love & Peace CD/LP/Track Review
Love & Peace
by Karl Ackermann
Published: February 20, 2018
Read La Saboteuse CD/LP/Track Review
La Saboteuse
by Chris May
Published: February 20, 2018
Read "Les Liaisons Dangereuses 1960" CD/LP/Track Review Les Liaisons Dangereuses 1960
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: June 1, 2017
Read "I Am A Man" CD/LP/Track Review I Am A Man
by Dan Bilawsky
Published: October 27, 2017
Read "2" CD/LP/Track Review 2
by Glenn Astarita
Published: December 19, 2017
Read "Signal 9" CD/LP/Track Review Signal 9
by Glenn Astarita
Published: October 22, 2017
Read "Solo: Reflections and Meditations on Monk" CD/LP/Track Review Solo: Reflections and Meditations on Monk
by Karl Ackermann
Published: October 10, 2017
Read "Aspiration" CD/LP/Track Review Aspiration
by Dan McClenaghan
Published: September 6, 2017